The soap opera off-season of the Cleveland Cavaliers took another interesting twist yesterday, as team owner Dan Gilbert introduced a new general manager (Koby Altman) and also took a stab at addressing the rumors that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has demanded a trade in an attempt to get away from the shadow of LeBron James.
Altman spoke about Irving first, calling the sitution “fluid,” but still referring to him as a “core piece.” But his words are meaningless, because everyone knows the real GM of this team is actually LeBron Raymone James. Then Gilbert attempted to calm the waters.
“Kyrie Irving’s under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years depending on the last year,” Gilbert said. “He’s one of our best players so, sure, we expect him to be in camp.”
Irving made huge waves in the NBA when it was reported last week that he was demanding a trade, sick of not being the go-to guy in Cleveland. Then ESPN hot-take artist Stephen A. Smith reported that James was so furious that he wanted to physically fight his teammate (which LeBron later denied). The Cavs signed former MVP point guard Derrick Rose to a one-year deal, possibly already planning for life after Kyrie.
Will Irving be in a Cavaliers uniform when NBA training camps open up in late September? The smart money is on no, but if Gilbert and Altman can’t put together a decent deal for one of the best guards in the game, they may be forced to keep him around and hope that Irving and James can co-exist while contending for another NBA title.